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Should You Switch To An Electric Bike?

Today electric bikes are increasingly popular modes of transport around cities. They’re quick efficient, eco-friendly and fun to ride. There are, of course, several disadvantages, too. This guide will outline the advantages and disadvantages of electric bikes in order to aid you in deciding whether electric bikes are suitable for you. I’ll also provide some of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing one.

What exactly is an Electric Bicycle?

Electric bicycles, also referred to as e-bikes are bicycles equipped with electric motors and batteries that can be used to propel. The motor is normally placed near the crank or an hub. The battery is mounted on the downtube, the seat tube or on the rear rack. A majority of electric bikes have a maximum velocity of around 20 miles/hour (32 kilometers/hour) and the range is 20 to 35 miles (32-56 km) per charge.

A range of electric bicycles are offered. Some are only pedal assistance. That means you need to pedal as you go. The motor aids you. Certain models are similar to mopeds, where you can use the motor to push you on without pedaling in the event that you want. The capacity of the battery, the position of the motor and the size of the motor can differ as well.

It is environmentally friendly. This is among the major reasons why people choose to commute by e-bike rather than driving around in a vehicle or taking a bus. E-bikes are powered by electric motors and aren’t releasing polluting emissions to the air similar to internal combustion engines. They’re among the greenest and most environmentally friendly methods of transportation that are available. The e-bike is an ideal way to lower the carbon footprint of your vehicle. The best option for a cleaner environment is to take a walk or ride on a bike that is not powered.

You aren’t sweating as much. One of the primary reasons why more people do not bike in the morning is discomfort that comes from wearing sweaty clothing all day. Everyone doesn’t want to be soiled or smelly. The majority of employers don’t provide showers or changing your clothes once you show up at work every day can be a pain. Electric bikes solve this issue. When you ride an electric bike your heart rate is lower since the motor is able to do the majority of the task for you. Pedal assistance can assist you in climbing the hill. In some models, you don’t need to pedal if do not want to. This means you sweat less. You’ll feel clean and dry upon arrival.

A lot less expensive than driving – On average the cost is approximately 50 cents for every mile of driving a tiny car. E-bikes cost between 5 and 10 cents. The initial cost is cheaper, too. If you’re working on a tight budget, you can purchase an efficient e-bike for around $1500. A reliable commuter vehicle is more than twice the price. Furthermore, you do not have the expense of insurance when you ride an electric bike. Repairs and maintenance are considerably more affordable as well.
There’s no need the expense of parking.

E-bikes let you travel further in one day. The range of e-bikes has significantly increased in recent years thanks to the advancement of batteries. E-bikes typically have an endurance of 20-35 miles (about 32-56 kilometers). If you choose to cycle a portion of the way without the aid of electric motors it is possible to cover more miles. This lets you go more than you can with a standard bicycle.

More efficient than conventional bikesE-bikes can be limited to a maximum speed of either 20 or 28 miles an hour (about 30 or 40 km/h). Most cyclists cannot attain those speeds using their own energy. It’s not possible, at least for a long time. The average speed is greater on an e-bike, and you’ll get to your destination quicker. In cutting your commute you’ll be able to rest some more.

The quiet motors of electric bicycles operate almost completely silently. When you ride, you’ll be able to be aware of what’s happening around you and take in the surrounding environment without having listen to the sound of engine noise. Also, you’re not bothering people around you with the noise pollution. Motorbikes and cars are more blaring.
There is no maintenance neededThere is not much maintenance required. For the most part electric bikes need about the exact amount of care as other bikes that are not powered. All you need to do is ensure that the tire pressure stays at a good level, wash and lubricate your chain on a regular basis and change your brake pad and tire when they get worn out. You’ll be able to do all maintenance on your own with some basic tools and expertise. The battery and motor do not require any kind of maintenance except for maintaining the battery’s charge and changing it every couple of years as it wears out. E-bikes need less maintenance than automobiles or motorcycles.

A lesser amount of regulationIn many areas, electric bicycles are considered as bicycles that are not powered. It is not necessary to have an operating license to use one. There’s no age limit or minimum or testing requirements and there aren’t any hearing or vision conditions. There is no need to sign up for a bike registration, and you don’t require insurance. You can simply purchase an e-bike and start riding.

E-bikes can reduce the wear and tear of your vehicle. Owning cars and an e-bike allows you to choose the right vehicle for every excursion. If you’re just going to the supermarket and coffee shops, you could ride the electric bicycle. For a ride through town, you can drive the car. If you opt for the electric bike over the vehicle and save money, you don’t have to pay for gas or maintenance.

The cons of electric bikes

It is essential to have electric power. Most e-bikes are able to travel between 20 and 35 miles (about 32-56 km) when charged. In the end, you’ll need to locate a spot to recharge your bike back up. When your bike is equipped with enough range to cover a full round trip, it’s not much of a problem. You’ll be able to plug your bike back in the moment you get back to at home. If you’re able to use more than 50% of your battery on the journey to your destination, you’ll need to recharge your bike prior to returning to your home. Most offices and companies do not have charging facilities for e-bikes at the moment. time. This is why they aren’t ideal for long trips. Most times you won’t be able recharge the batteries until you return home.

Long charging times – The majority of battery packs for e-bikes take 3.5-6 hours for full charge. It’s a long time to wait for if you have to travel to a place. However, of course you could continue to ride on a part charge, but your range is reduced. There are e-bikes that offer fast charging that allows you to reach 80percent capacity in 2 hours using a 10 amp charger. This is great, but it’s difficult on your battery.

Short range- The majority of electric bikes have a range of between 20 and 35 miles (about 32-56 km). This is adequate for journeys, commutes and short journeys to the grocery store and return. The battery should last for three to five hours, based on your speed and terrain. It’s not enough to last an entire day of cycling. Therefore, electric bikes aren’t a good choice for people who are cyclists or couriers. In spite of this there are some electric bikes available with enormous batteries with an endurance of more than 100 miles.

Costly – An e-bike costs between $200 and $3000. A moderately priced non-powered bike is approximately $1200-1500. E-bikes cost about twice more than an unpowered bike. The additional cost is mainly through the cost of the battery. The battery alone is priced between $500 and $800. The motor is an additional expense also. If you’re working on a tight budget, it’s best to go using a standard bike that doesn’t have the motor.

Heavy- An average E-bike weighs between 40-70 pounds (about 18 to 32 kilos). The battery and motor are a major contributor to weight. A normal bike without a motor weighs between 25 and 35 pounds (about 11-16 kilograms). The weight difference doesn’t have any significance until the battery goes out and you’re forced to pedal up a hill with no assistance. E-bikes are also difficult to keep in storage. It’s not a good idea to transport a 70-pound bike up three levels of stairs to get into your house every day, say.

Expensive battery replacements- E-bike batteries cost $500-$800. The cost varies depending on the dimensions and the model of the bike. The price of proprietary batteries is usually higher than the standard size batteries. The majority of e-bikes have lithium-ion batteries which are capable of holding charge for up to 800 cycles when they’re taken care of. If you commute every day you’ll likely get a couple of years from every battery. It is important to take into account the cost of replacing batteries when calculating the price of owning your e-bike.

You cannot fly using an electric bike – according to the FAA the lithium batteries you put included in carry-on or checked baggage must be at least 100 watt-hours, or less. Certain airlines allow batteries with up to 160 watts. These are generally limited to medical devices. The majority of E-bike batteries are around the 300-500 watt hour range. They’re too big to be carried on an plane. The limit of 100 watts per hour is simply too small to be an electronic bike. If you’re planning to fly using your bike, you might be able of shipping batteries to your self and then fly around with the bike. You may also be able rent or purchase a battery at the location you are heading to.

Certain e-bikes have specific parts that are components that are unique to your specific model of bike. They are only available through the manufacturer. Many e-bikes feature proprietary parts that are in the motor, drive system or battery. There are a variety of issues you could encounter with these components. They make replacement parts more difficult to find since you have purchase them from the manufacturer or a dealer. They do not adhere to an ISO standard. If you’re far from an auto dealer, you may not have access to the components you require. Additionally, parts that are proprietary tend to be more expensive than the standard size parts. Manufacturers may charge more since they understand that you are forced to buy them in order to continue cycling. In addition, the parts that are proprietary to the manufacturer could be difficult to locate in the event that the manufacturer is shut down in the near future.

Electric Bike Designs

Electric bikes are available with a range of styles. The main differences in design are the kind of motor and the place it is placed as well as the battery’s size and position as well as the method by which the power is managed. Every electric bicycle model comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

In this article I’ll discuss the two major designs you’ll need to make when purchasing an electric bike. I’ll also discuss the most significant and expensive component the battery.

1. Pedal Assist (Pedelec) Versus Trottle Controlled Electric Bicycles

These systems let you regulate the power output of the bike. There are three types of electric bicycles:

Pedal assist E-bikes with Pedal assist (class 1)This method, the motor is propelled as you ride. When the electric assist system is activated the motor begins to work once you begin pedaling. If you stop pedaling, the motor stops working. A pedal assistance system can make pedaling more comfortable. It is the most commonly used type of electric bike. They usually have 20 mph maximum speed.

Throttle controlled electronic bikes (class 2)They function as an automobile or a scooter. A twist-grip or button placed on the handlebars allow you to regulate the power. There’s no need to pedal if you don’t wish to. Most e-bikes feature an electronic throttle as well as electronic assist. This kind of system is widespread across America and Asia. US and Asia however, it is banned in a large portion of Europe.

Speed pedelec electronic bikes (class 3)They operate exactly the same way as regular class 1 pedal assist ebikes. Only difference is the highest speed. E-bikes in class 3 typically reach speeds of around 28 milliseconds or 45 kph. They have powerful motors that allow them to reach the greater speed.

2. Hub Motor Vs Mid Drive E-Bikes

This design option refers to the place where the motor’s electric power is located to the bicycle. In this article I’ll discuss the major distinctions.

Hub Motors

Hub motors are located either in the rear hub or the front one in the middle of the wheel. These motors can be used in place of the standard hub. Hub motors operate independently of the other parts of the drive system. The majority of hub drive bikes utilize a cadence sensor to provide pedal-assist or the throttle.

Hub drives are commonly found on bikes with lower price points due to their lower cost and less complicated mechanically in comparison to mid-drives. They usually require less maintenance, too. They also work with a wide range of bikes, if you are planning to convert your current bicycle into an e-bike.

The most significant drawback with hub motors lies in the fact they generally only have only one speed. They are therefore less effective. They’re also heavy, making replacing tires or fixing flats a bit more challenging. Hub motors may also restrict the wheel components you can choose from because of how big the motor is.

Mid Drive Motors

The mid-drive motors can be positioned in the middle of the bike, near the crank. The motor is integrated with the bottom bracket as well as the crankset. Sometimes, the frame and the motor are also integrated. The majority of mid-drive motors utilize sensors to measure torque to assist the pedal.

The primary advantage of this model is that you are able to benefit from the bike’s gears since the motor drives the rear wheel via the chain. This increases efficiency because it allows you to operate the motor at the optimal speed. This will also make to prolong the life of your motor since it is possible to reduce the gearing so the motor doesn’t need to be as efficient. Additionally, mid-drive motors have greater torque and better distribution of weight. They are also lighter and smaller than hub drive motors.

The biggest drawback with the mid-drive models is they can be extremely damaging to components of the drive. The reason for this is because the motor produces more power and produces more torque than humans could. Chains that aren’t durable can’t deal with the strain. Motors with mid-drive are more complicated and costly.

The battery capacity of E-bikes

When you are choosing a battery one of the primary aspects to consider is its capacity. This is the most important factor in the amount of performance you will get from your electric bike. The best method of assessing the battery’s capacity is to measure it in watt-hours (Wh). A battery with higher Watt-hours is likely to have greater range.

Sometimes, watt-hours don’t appear in the specifications of your bike. To determine the watt-hours of your battery you need to add the batteries voltage (V) by the number of Amp-hours (Ah). Once you have figured out the watt-hours it is easy to assess the capacity of different electric bike batteries.

I prefer to think of watt-hours as the amount of watts batteries can run for an entire hour. For instance, if the battery is rated at 500 watts that means it could run at 500 watts continuously for an hour. The same battery can be running at 250 watts for two hours. This will give some idea on how long the battery will last based on the motor of your bike.

Of course there are a variety of variables that affect the range of your electric bike, including the weight of your body and your load and the wind. Also the terrain, hills battery age and speed, temperature the your riding posture, tire pressure and much more.

Electric Bicycle Kits for Conversion

If you already own a bike you enjoy or you’re on a strict budget, you could save some cost by installing an electric bike kit with battery. There are a variety of options offered, such as mid-drive and hub drive and throttle control as well as pedal assistance.

The most basic kits typically cost between $200 and $300. They comprise everything you require, including the motor, controller the handlebar-mounted display, the pedal-assist sensor, throttle, brake levers that have security switches and torque arm the necessary installation equipment, and the manual.

The only component that’s not included in the converter kit, includes the battery. They typically cost between $200 and $400 based on the quality and size. In all, you’ll be in a position to convert your bike into electric power for about $500. If you are considering an electric bike battery, be sure that the voltage is within the voltage range of the motor was designed to.

Final Thoughts on the pros and cons of Electric Bikes

Nowadays, e-bikes are more well-known than ever before. They’re an ideal option for commuters, people who are casual, and those who use them for exercise. If compared with motorbikes or cars they are more eco-friendly and more sustainable for the planet. They are also considerably less expensive to maintain and operate.

However, they do come with a few disadvantages that need to be taken into account. If compared with a conventional bicycle electric bikes cost more and can be a little more difficult to maintain. They also need to be constantly charged as their range is still quite limited on most models.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of electric bikes and am excited to see how the market grows in the coming years. I’m hoping for faster charging and a longer distance as battery technology advances. I’m expecting to see increasing numbers of e-bikes out on the streets in the next few years. Many cyclists find them to seem sensible.